What a time to be a Black creative.
With more of us taking reigns in front of, and behind the scenes in Hollywood, it’s no surprise that Black directors would finally be getting their just due as well. But make no mistake about it — they had to work damn hard to get there. And they’re still working!
First, #BlackAF’s (and also of Black-ish, Mixed-ish and Grown-ish fame) Kenya Barris is set to write, produce, and direct MGM’s upcoming movie about Richard Pryor’s life and times.
“The way Pryor did what he did — with truth and specificity that was somehow self-aware and self-deprecating, and said with an unmatched level of vulnerability — that was the power and impact of his work,” said Barris to Vulture.
The GOAT herself, Ava DuVernay has set her first feature film at Netflix, with an adaptation of the book Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. It’s only right, after she brought them the critically acclaimed (and award-winning) documentary 13th as well as the miniseries When They See Us.
Caste is very on-brand for DuVernay’s catalog of work. The film examines the “unspoken system that has shaped America and chronicles how our lives today are defined by a hierarchy of human divisions dating back generations,” according to Variety. The novel, published in August 2020 by Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson, was a New York Times bestseller and an Oprah’s Book Club selection.
Last but not least, Lionsgate has tapped the history-making Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker second unit director Victoria Mahoney to direct its latest action film Shadow Force. And she’ll even have some blockbuster starpower, with Sterling K. Brown and Kerry Washington to star.
The action pic, which was written by Leon Chills and Joe Carnahan, is about an estranged husband and wife with a bounty on their heads who must go on the run with their son to avoid their former employer—a unit of shadow ops that has been sent to kill them.